My wife's goal in buying this bike was that I be her mototaxista. I had other plans. I had done the necessary scouting and I wanted to show her more of her country by bike so we found a day with good weather and set off. It was to be a shorter version of my rain ride to Pirebebuy.
It had to start off badly. Riding through San Lorenzo heading for Route 1 at 50 kph, I changed lanes from behind a bus into this hole. The tire was added later that day and the pic was taken 5 days later - it's still not filled.
A crash was about inevitable unless I did something so I used all my mountain bike leaping skills and pulled hard up and forward on the bars. My wife said later that she saw and felt nothing in the road and thought maybe something was wrong with the bike when I got off the seat. Dumb Luck? Amazing Skill? Blind Stupidity? I like to think it was the skill, but I doubt it.
After a long detour off Route 1 around a large group of protestors, it started getting better, but not before some blind idiot moron decided to do a U-turn from the opposite direction into our lane. It's common to see this, but they usually stop half-way to let you continue. This time the minivan just kept moving. And moving. I started braking from 70 kph but these cable operated drums drop speed even worse with 350 pounds aboard.
I moved farther and farther right until I was well onto the shoulder. We passed with maybe a couple of feet to spare - the car still moving. In my mind I saw us sideswiped , across the hood, and onto the ground. Not good. Why does this happen when my wife is aboard? Or do I just not notice it when I'm solo?
Anyway, we continued on to Yaguaron to climb the cerro. We already know that the bike couldn't do it cuz I posted photos earlier. Here's the hill.
But what do we do with our gear? I'd prefer to leave it, but do I trust the three people who will pass the bike? Seriously, there was nobody around. But then I saw my buddy from the last visit who offered to be my guide. He saw me on the bike and threw up his arms in greeting. We talked, I found out his name was Joel (that's hotel
without the t), and he offered to watch our stuff while up top.
Really nice kid. He is actually a tour guide of the cerro on the weekends and holidays. I paid him well. For Paraguay. It was a good climb:
for a good view of the town of Yaguaron.
and the surrounding countryside.
That's not some photoshop effect either. It's a fuzzy sweater that I used to stabilize the camera. Accidentally pretty cool. The pink flower tree in the next pic is called Lapacho. Wife wants to plant one in our yard.
Jesus tags, why can't I?
Then we stopped at the Fruterķa Paraguari for their fabulous cafe con leche and a really good Milanesa a la Napolitana. She brings extra spice to my life, hence the appropriately placed bottle of picante.
We then went on to the cerro in Paraguari. I think I was here once with my Dad in 1997 to visit my sister. Yup. Just checked the album. Hi Dad! Hi Amy! And congratulations to Amy and Ghiath on their first anniversary of marriage!
The road to Pirebebuy winds between these two cerros and continues toward Route 2. These are taken from the cerro. The butterflies were another fortunate accident.
We continued on and the road closed in around us for a while
and then we found a scenic overlook. I almost missed the sign. 'Bienv
enido' is the proper spelling - one of my favorites is 'serbesa' on a hand-painted sign advertising cerveza. It took my wife a minute to figure out that it was advertising beer. Uproarious laughter ensued.
From these lawn chairs, one can sit and observe a really nice vista on a clear day.
A few km later toward Pirebebuy, we passed a sign for the locale where wife celebrated her high school graduation with her classmates. I noticed that it didn't give a distance - that concerned me.
After 6.5 km of sycamore lined dirt roads (that went from poor to horrible)
and sugar cane laden trucks with political stickers supporting the president-elect,
we arrived at one of the few places where swimming is actually safe. It's really popular in the summer but it's winter now. I'd like to visit with more time and more family.
It was around this time, well out of cell phone range of course, that I told wife that there was no way that we could return home before going to her aunt's house. Her mother and sister were home with the kids and we would have to contact them and tell them to take the kids on another wonderful bus trip without their parents. We would meet them when they got off the bus. Lucky for us we got to skip another bus trip.
The exit was a different road. It was worse than the road in. Far worse. Deep sand everywhere elicited the first ever "Please don't kill me" plea from my passenger even though we were only moving about 8 mph.
Then it was another 6 km to the nearest town and a cell phone tower. But only after another group of protesters were cleared from the road.
On the way home, we were running toward the afternoon sun with no dark visor or sunglasses. Dumb, right? Route 2 from Ypacarai to San Lorenzo is four lanes wide with intermittent New Jersey barriers separating the two sides and the road surface they use acts like a mirror. And the stop lights are placed about 4 meters above the right shoulder of the road. Yeah, I was in the left lane, sun in my eyes, mirrored road surface, 75 kph, wife on the back, and I didn't see the light until way too late. I couldn't stop in time so I ran it. There was no road to the right and there was no cross-traffic, so it wasn't a close encounter of any kind, but once again, not good
Anyway, we got to her aunt's house on time. The only emergency, outside the two near crashes and running a red light, was that our older son announced that he had to poo upon descending from the bus. We weren't there. Lucky for us. Finding a bathroom isn't always easy. Gracias, Linda.
Ha gracias, che rembireko.